Disconnecting from Technology
Too often your friends or family members have been texting, emailing, or making plans with other people when you are sitting at a dinner table, patiently waiting for them to notice you have said something quite important. While there is no argument that technology has positively affecting the convenience aspect of our lives, there also comes to time when we have to be honest with ourselves and ask “Do we really need to respond right when someone texts us?”
Disconnecting from devices such as mobile phones, laptops, or ipads has become a new movement in which professionals of all ages are gearing away from becoming wholly dependent on electronic machines. By removing yourself from these gadgets, you can be more present on vacation, meeting up with an old friend, or attending your family’s annual BBQ during Memorial day.
Returning to activities you enjoy that do not require a moving screen is an essential way to alleviate stress created by devices. Conducting a bit of research to find the latest fiction novel, brushing up on your photography skills, or getting back into yoga can once again become integral parts of your life. Hopefully, this would curb any addictive or unhealthy habits you may have, creating a more in tune sense of self.
Whether it is after work or every Sunday afternoon, planning an allotted timeframe with no technology use is definitely a step in the right direction. Instead of texting your friends from home, take 15 mins to go on a walk with a coworker to better understand he/she as a person. Also, not checking your phone after say, 10pm everyday will also allow you to reflect on your thoughts, ideas or opinions that may have been suppressed throughout the day.
When meeting an old friend for dinner or visiting your sister for the first time in awhile, be sure to put your phone away for an extended amount of time. This emotional barrier that a phone symbolizes at a dinner table can not only indicate indifference or boredom, but it is also disrespectful to whomever is sitting across from you. Be present in making that dinner or cup of coffee a memory instead of a dinner where you were texting as a friend was trying to open up to you about their latest hardship.
Notifying people in your social circle about your latest behavioral habits or changes will allow you to be in control of your already well-established and new relationships. Making clear expectations on their end will foster an open environment which is built on honesty, reciprocation and open-mindedness.